Lechon kawali or Pan-roasted pork to some is different from Lechon, the well known Filipino dish which is also the national dish of the Philippines. While lechon is cooked in a pit filled with flamed charcoal, Lechon kawali is cooked by boiling then later deep frying a portion of the pig (pork belly usually) .
Little is known about the history of this dish. I just got acquanted with it during my high school days at Benedictine Abbey School (now its San Beda College, Alabang). I can clearly remember how the aroma of this dish fills the whole ERV canteen and also the long line that I need to pass just to order Lechon kawali. As I grew up, I learned that this can also be a good pulutan(appetizer) and is best complimented by the traditional lechon sauce or spicy vinegar.
I like lechon kawali because I enjoy eating it as a main dish. I have this with warm steamed rice and some lechon sauce for dipping. Because of this admiration to this dish, I tried to devise a lechon kawali recipe that does not call for the pork to be frozen. This saves a lot of time.
How to Cook Lechon Kawali
Cooking Lechon Kawali takes two processes. The first is to boil the pork belly until tender, and the second is to deep fry the boiled belly in oil.
Boil some water in a cooking pot. Make sure that the water is enough for the amount of pork that you will use. Add bay leaves, salt, and pepper on the boiling water. This will help add more flavor to the pork since it will absorb it when boiling. Lastly, boil the pork till tender. You will need to remove the pork from the water afterwards and let it dry.
It is now time to deep fry the belly. Rub salt all over the pork and the carefully place in a cooking pot with hot oil. This step is somewhat dangerous, so be very careful. If possible, have a splatter guard handy or ready the pot cover because oil may splatter anytime. Cook in medium heat until the pork belly is crispy. Here is a good forum that talks more about preventing oil from splattering when frying.
Once done, let the oil drip-off and chop the pork. Now you can serve it with lechon sauce.
Try this delicious Lechon Kawali Recipe and let me know what you think.
Lechon Kawali Recipe
- 2 lbs. pork belly
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons whole pepper corn
- 5 pieces dried bay leaves
- 3 cups cooking Oil
- 34 ounces Water
- Place the water on a big cooking pot and bring to a boil
- Put-in the pork belly then add 1 tbsp of salt, pepper, and bay leaves and simmer for 30 minutes or until meat is tender
- Remove the meat from the pot and let it cool down for a few minutes
- Spread 1 tbsp of salt on the meat, make sure to distribute it evenly on all sections
- We now need to deep fry the meat. On a dry cooking pot place the cooking oil and heat it up
- When the oil is hot enough, put the meat in the cooking pot and let it cook until the immersed side is brown and the meat's texture is crispy
- Flip the meat to cook the opposite side
- Remove the meat from the pan, let it cool down a little then slice according to desired portions
- Serve hot. Share and Enjoy!